JHCC

Manifold to connect two 20lb propane tanks

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I run a NARB with a standard 1" Frosty T-burner off a single 20lb propane tank, which tends to freeze up in cold weather. I have a second tank that I switch to when the first freezes, but I'd like to connect them with a manifold/daisy chain as discussed elsewhere, to equalize the pressure and minimize freeze-up. I have some concerns about how to make this happen. 

I'm currently connecting my burner to my tank with this hose/regulator setup purchased from Amazon. As you can see, it has a OCC type 1 connector to attach to the tank and a 3/8" flare to connect with the T-burner:

614QdcXyK-L._AC_SL1489_.jpg

One thing I like about this is the hand connection, so that I can take it on and off without any any tools. Unfortunately, all the premade manifolds I've seen are designed to connect with POL fittings that require a wrench, like this:

MR. HEATER, INC. Hook Up Kit

In order to keep the ease of assembly, I'm thinking of cobbling together a manifold. This would start with a pair of pigtail connectors with Type 1 fittings on the tank side and 1/4" MNPT fittings on the regulator side:

61WrLsm27DL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

These would go into a tee fitting that's 1/4" FNPT on all three sides:

Female-Pipe-Tee-600.jpg

From this, a 1/4" MNPT/Type 1 adapter would provide the connection to the existing regulator:

61QQH4gVOpL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Does this seem like a reasonable course of action?

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It may get taken down as a sales link.  however I don't know how to get an image of one without going to a site that sells them.

[Commercial link removed]

i run a connection from each tank to the Y connection on one of those then i put in a male to male connector then hook my 0-30 regulator and hose to it and run to the forge.

Edited by Mod34
Commercial link removed per TOS

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That takes one tank and splits it into two outputs He wants the opposite: 2 tanks, one output. (right click on picture, copy image, go to post, paste.) So here is the wrong one.

GASONE Propane Y Splitter Tee Adapter

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There was some discussion on here about whether the internals of the hand connections have flow limiters built into them.  I don't know for sure one way or the other.  I use the system in the 2nd picture down, which has the left-handed threads and does require a wrench.  However, I don't have to change the tanks out so frequently so that it is more than a slight annoyance to go find the correct wrench or adjustable wrench to make the change.  

I also have more confidence that the POL fitting tightened with a wrench is less likely to leak than the plastic hand tightened connection.  This may just be a perception thing on my part though.

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Frankly, I'm not sure if a POL connection will fit my tank. I'm on the road for business, but I can check when I get home.

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Would it be an option to get a bigger tank? I know the TSC in Norwalk will fill tanks. I’m not sure if the one in Wellington will, or if there is someplace close that would fill a 100lb tank. It’s so much nicer having a bigger tank then a 20lb. 

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Theoretically, yes. However, my setup has the two smaller tanks in the lower part of the cart that holds my gas forge, which itself is on casters. A larger tank wouldn’t fit there, and it would make it harder to pack everything away when I’m done forging for the day.

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Get the one you posted in the second picture and hang a spanner from a chain next to the bottles. 

if you can add two LPG fuses to the bottles, that would be a plus. 

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6 hours ago, Marc1 said:

LPG fuses

Fuses?

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It's just a commercial name since 'mutatis mutandis' fulfills the same role as a fuse in an electric circuit. You may call it a "propane sudden loss of pressure valve" or less words to the same effect :)

If your hose bursts the drop of pressure will shut the gas off at the bottle. 

Not sure what the legislation is in your corner of the woods, but here in our beautifully over regulated country we can not build DIY gas contraptions to use on either LPG or natural gas. They need to be approved and usually have a sort of badge or metal label hanging from them. 

image.png.3a331ed2322a61dcd33c9ecd99a2d2d2.png

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Here in the US the typical BBQ sized bottle come with a over flow preventer valve built in the tank.  Larger "industrial" tanks can still be purchased without them.

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I did some googling and found a number of similar devices marketed as an "excess flow valve" or "excess flow safety device".

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I looked up your regulators using google US and indeed they seem to have the overflow valve inbuilt in the regulator. However I don't know if you can use a regulator to run the burner, it may reduce the pressure too much. 

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The top valve of a tank may have such an overflow valve in it but it's not a regulator.  You need to buy a separate regulator to put on the tank to regulate pressure to your burner.  The US uses a 3 knobbed handle for the tank valves with the overflow valve in them.

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That’s how I switch from one bottle to the other. Made a T-split from one 66 lbs (because of freezing) to another 66 lbs cylinder especially while running the foundry. Every cylinder got his own pressure regulator, own no return valve, own hose rapture protection and comes out to one flame arrestor behind the burner(s) line. This made me able to change the sources quickly if one of the cylinders is empty without to change connections and tool time (and chilling the ladle). If I see, one of the cylinders are empty, I close the main valve and open the one of the full (new) cylinder, the inner heat of the forge/foundry takes care of immediately ignition of the ‘new’ fuel source.     

DSC00223.JPG

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JHCC, if i get this right you want one of the plastic hand thingys to attach the manifold to the other tank, yes? TSC sell ones that will thread on to the end of the brass fittings. 

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True, there are plastic handwheels that will fit over the hex nuts of the POL fittings. I suppose I could always add those later if using a wrench turns out to be too much of a pain.

I'd still need an adapter to connect my OCC Type 1 regulator to the POL fitting in the manifold, though. I see I can get one from Amazon for about ten bucks, or with a fuel level gauge for about seven more.  Worth considering.

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I’ve placed the order for the manifold with the POL fittings, as well as this adapter:

F048BC63-D23A-4DF9-9BF9-38E322BF8070.jpeg

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And the fittings have arrived. 

9BD977E5-CFA4-4AF7-A9AF-D39CA3115A9E.jpeg

Now I’m going off the rails on a daisy chain. 

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All set up! 

B9725C3C-262B-4C86-868E-DF7A567345A1.jpeg

(Now I just need another piece of flexible conduit to protect the hose.)

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Looks good!  I do wonder if they will empty evenly, or if the one closer to the burner will empty faster.  Maybe that theory won't apply here, but I'm still curious.

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In theory, they should empty at equal rates: evaporation of the liquid propane is governed by the vapor pressure in the upper part of the tank, and since the daisy chain forms an open link between the two, the pressure will remain equal in both tanks. Therefore, the LP will evaporate equally, and the tanks will empty equally.

 However, in this particular case, the tank closer to the regulator will empty sooner, for the simple reason that it has less in it to start with. Once both tanks are empty, I will refill them, and their levels will remain equal thereafter. 

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